Joan Shelley‘s music came to me via another musician friend’s songs. Last year our pal Sam Moss was on tour with Shelley leading up to a Newport Folk Festival performance from both of these artists. I caught Shelley and her 3 piece at The Skinny Pancake in Hanover, NH on that tour and while the majority of the crowd met her gorgeous performance with some sort of indifference, I was awestruck into ghostly stillness, barely able to move and entranced by the beautiful sparsity that the band managed to create. Despite drums and electric guitars, the space that these 3 created on stage was delicate and soft and encapsulated those willing to lose themselves in it with a warmth and a remarkable charm that was pretty special.
Of that performance I reminisced “Some music needs to be listened intently to. Taken in with a deep and engaging breathe and held there for a bit. Appreciated and experienced.” The songs off of the singer-songwriter’s latest record are no different. Pensive and curious. Her voice sailing aloft in a seascape of sounds that dip and bob beneath the narrative she is carving out of the swells motioning past.
“Where I’ll Find You” particularly caught me up in the feeling of it all. A sort of smokey-jazz inspired feel seeps its way into the instrumental portion of the song. Notes from an acoustic occasionally cutting through the snare and bass lines, Joan’s mellowed tone floating and weaving between it all. Its transportive and spell binding.
tie me to the banks and hold me, safe from all the storms that form behind me
out on the blank sea